Leadership Transition Update

  • Date: 08/04/2020

It has been an honour to serve as Director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). After some consideration, I have chosen to not seek a renewal of my term. A process to select the next PIMS Director is now underway. I wish to share some reflections on the Institute’s recent progress and to express my gratitude to the PIMS community for ongoing contributions to the Institute’s success.


PIMS advanced over the past few years by building atop the previously established strong foundation. We enhanced the network’s interconnectivity with improved governance and communications. We formed new committees to ensure that PIMS is focused on equity, diversity and inclusivity, on career pathways for trainees, and on effective approaches for distributed collaboration. The wide scope of the PIMS mission to support the mathematical sciences advanced through national leadership on interactive computing. The Institute’s international profile was enriched with the renewal of the PIMS-CNRS International Research Laboratory and the creation of new mobility programs.


I am grateful for the collaboration, encouragement and advice I’ve received while serving as PIMS Director. I thank the PIMS Central Team, the interim and current Deputy Directors, Site Directors, Site Administrators, Education Coordinators, the Postdoctoral Training Centre in Stochastics and the Collaborative Research Groups, the members of the PIMS Committees, and other organizers. I thank current and past members of the PIMS Board, past PIMS Directors, current and past members of the Scientific Review Panel and Education Review Panel, and other advisors. On behalf of the PIMS community, I am grateful for the support from NSERC, our member and affiliate universities, CNRS, NSF, the provinces the Institute serves, and our donors. I thank the University of British Columbia for serving as the administrative centre for PIMS. I thank our industry collaborators. I am grateful to the Government of Canada, Cybera, and Compute Canada for support and partnership on the Callysto and Syzygy interactive computing initiatives. I thank Mitacs for partnering with PIMS on international mobility and internship programs. I am inspired by and thank the students and postdocs who make the mathematical sciences evergreen.


The next Director will lead PIMS into the Institute’s 25th anniversary year. The Institute will be ready for a smooth transition and in an excellent stance to advance the mathematical sciences. I look forward to supporting the next Director and participating in the PIMS community in new ways.


James Colliander